baking and the summertime don't usually go together. on a sticky day, the last thing most of us want to do is make our kitchens and the adjacent rooms in our houses even hotter with an oven cranked up to 375 F. however, there hasn't been much warm weather to speak of in these parts (mostly clouds and rain, rain, rain), and you know, baked goods are appreciated by my palate (and my plate) during every season.
enter these adorable little treats, pina colada mini bundt cakes:
the flavor is straight vacation (pineapple + coconut is a time honored combo for maximum relaxation), the shape is ridiculously cute, and the texture clocks in somewhere between a cupcake and a donut! the recipe is adapted from my sweet vegan, a cookbook by hannah kaminksy, that i love to talk shit on (overwrought recipes, reliance on readymade ingredients, uninspired photography) but find myself turning to relatively often. sorry hannah! i will now stop talking smack, and just pass along the recipe for these badass tiny fruitcakes.
pina colada mini-bundts
makes 11 cake-lettes (sorry to that one lonely, empty spot in the pan)
takes about 45 minutes, cooling time not included
-preheat the oven to 350 F (see? not that hot for a june afternoon)
-pulverize 1 cup of unsweetened coconut in a food processor until it's like coconut flour.
- cream the powdery coconut with 1/4 cup margarine, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 2 tblsps brown sugar. it helps to use a hand mixer or a stand mixer. i used "majestic yellow," the recently gifted kitchenaid of my dreams.
- add in 1 cup crushed pineapple (fresh or canned, but juices drained).
- sift in 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, a pinch of salt, then mix all together.
- then stir in an additional 1/2 cup coconut (not pulverized), 2 tbps dark rum, 1 tsp lemon or lime juice and 1/2 cup coconut milk (this is my own substitution! the orignial recipe calls for soymilk, but how can you pass up the opportunity for extra beachy flavor and vegan richness?). mix til just incorporated.
- pour the batter into lightly greased mini-bundt pan. if you find the idea of a mini-bundt pan ludicrous or frivolous (don't be a nun!), you could just make these in a muffin pan. i admit, it's all form here, and not much function. observe:
- bake for 30 minutes, maybe 35. pull the pan out at 30 minutes and stick a tooth pick into one of the mini cakes. if it comes out clean, it's done! if it comes out with bits of batter stuck to it, bake it for another 2 minutes, and then try the toothpick trick again.
- let 'em cool for a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack. let them achieve full room temp coolness before attempting the frosting step (next step, below).
- briskly whisk together 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 3 tblsp alcohol. you can use rum, tequila, grand marnier, or a combo of whatever's in your liquor cabinet (like i did). drizzle the alcoh-glaze on the cakes and then sprinkle with more coconut!
- inhale deeply, take a bite, and pretend you're in cabo, tahiti, the lost island, or somewhere else warm and bronze, not just a soggy west philly backyard.